Tuesday, 19 November 2013

La Trappiste


Being in the centre of Canterbury sometimes feels like being in Little Belgium or Little France. The winding streets are full of bistros, patisseries, and the best part is that you can even pay in Euros in some places. Great for the novelty factor, or on the off-chance that you have some left over from holidays or trips to Europe! I knew exactly where I wanted to take my parents for our final meal of their visit. After a long but lovely day of sight-seeing, shopping and generally catching up on everything that has happened since I've come down to Canterbury, we spruced ourselves up, put our shiny shoes on and headed out for pre-meal drinks. 

La Trappiste is in the centre of "Little France", sticking out in to the street. It's a lot ike the Flatiron Building in New York but on a much smaller, much more Frenchified way. My housemate had been a couple of weeks previously, and had nothing but the highest of praise; I needed to sample the La Trappiste for myself. 

From the outside you can taste the atmosphere of the restaurant; there is a piano player nestled in the corner, and the lighting is low, mainly lit by candles on each table, hence the rather dark photos I have taken!

We were pre-warned that because it was a Saturday night, and because they make all their dishes from scratch to order that we might be in for a wait, but we were happy to chatter away to one another and get busy with the wine menu. 

But it wasn't actually long at all until our sharing starters arrived.
 Baked Camembert, caramelised onion chutney and crusty bread (my absolute favourite!)

King Prawns with garlic and tomatoes. I like the odd King Prawn, but my Mum is obsessed, so I donated my last one to her cause. I think she might have been a crustacean in a previous life. 

Both starters were absolutely delicious, the perfect way to start off the meal. A short interlude followed during which time my parents told me about the new chickens they have just rescued. Apparently they don't lay eggs any more, but their owners are moving abroad and don't want them any more. So, of course, my parents said absolutely they can come to us! I am looking forward to meeting them when I go home for Christmas.

The restaurant had really filled up and come to life by the time it was mains time. I went for the Seafood Risotto, which was a great choice and delicious, but wasn't the prettiest of the dishes so I didn't get a picture. My Mum and Dad both went for the Kentish Moules, cooked in a cider-based sauce. I got to try some, and I can say they were also fantastic! I will definitely have to get them when I go back. And of course thin cut chips and more crusty bread for dipping are essential moules accompaniments.

I turned the flash on to get the steamy effect!

I would have quite happily thrown the towel in there, the portions and food were ten out of ten. But my Dad was feeling the love and insisted we have a cheeseboard (OK, Dad, if we absolutely must, I said!) Between you and me, he might have been a little bit tipsy by this point!

But look how amazing it looks. A cheeseboard is always a good idea in my opinion. I love all kinds of cheese, French especially, so this was perfection. There was plenty of it too, I can tell you.

Very full and very happy, we finally came away from the restaurant four hours later, saying that we absolutely must return some time soon. I had high expectations, and I was not disappointed with La Trappiste! I would say it's a special occasion or family meal kind of place, but I can imagine a date would also be great here because of the great atmosphere, music and the sumptuous food.

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